They killed the Giggler
February 16, 2014 4:10 PM   Subscribe

How many people die in Death Wish 3? The answer may surprise you! (SLYT)
posted by theodolite (60 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
After watching this condensed version I have formed a hypothesis: people who went to and liked Death Wish 3 in 1985 form the core of the modern tea party.
posted by overhauser at 4:28 PM on February 16, 2014 [27 favorites]


"According to the book 'Bronson's Loose' by Paul Talbot, the original working title "Death Wish III" was changed to "Death Wish 3" because the Cannon Group conducted a survey and found that nearly half of the U.S. population could not read Roman numerals."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:31 PM on February 16, 2014 [27 favorites]


I love how they throw in some white skinhead bad guys to make it totally not racist.
posted by octothorpe at 4:34 PM on February 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


A: Not enough.
posted by mazola at 4:35 PM on February 16, 2014


Wow. Wonder how often this film comes up in stand your ground training videos. While schlocky gunporn cinema still exists, I guess, video games have satisfied this particular strata of murderdeath wish-fulfillment.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 4:41 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know how many people died in Death Wish 3, but I'm pretty sure Deanna Troi is one of them.
posted by Sara C. at 4:44 PM on February 16, 2014


"According to the book 'Bronson's Loose' by Paul Talbot, the original working title "Death Wish III" was changed to "Death Wish 3" because the Cannon Group conducted a survey and found that nearly half of the U.S. population could not read Roman numerals."

So they tried to avoid it to sound like a pirate movie called Death Wish Aye Aye Aye?
I'd see the shit out of that.
posted by ouke at 4:46 PM on February 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yep, at approximately 1:32.

She did a lot of grocery shopping, and I'm pretty sure Sirtis' voice was dubbed into Spanish.
posted by Sara C. at 4:47 PM on February 16, 2014


I finally saw some of one of these, but I had been familiar with the franchise only via MAD magazine parodies before that.
posted by thelonius at 4:49 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


"According to the book 'Bronson's Loose' by Paul Talbot, the original working title "Death Wish III" was changed to "Death Wish 3" because the Cannon Group conducted a survey and found that nearly half of the U.S. population could not read Roman numerals."

And they can vote, well, are allowed to vote. That explains why we have a Tea Party.
posted by Mag Plug at 4:53 PM on February 16, 2014


Apparently there were two more movies after this one. Bronson was in his mid-seventies by the last one.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 PM on February 16, 2014


That was pretty deathwishy, but without Jeff Goldblum is a Jughead hat, I'm not comfortable calling it deathwishalicious.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:55 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


That movie is so ... 80s! Oh, right.
posted by Melismata at 5:00 PM on February 16, 2014


So they tried to avoid it to sound like a pirate movie called Death Wish Aye Aye Aye?

Actually, it was going to be called Death Wish? Aye, Aye-Aye!, about a piratical nocturnal primate with vengeance in its astonishingly large eyes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:02 PM on February 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Never seen one of these movies before. Now, I never need to.
posted by KGMoney at 5:09 PM on February 16, 2014


The best thing about Repo Man is that it is basically a riff on this sort of movie.
posted by Sara C. at 5:10 PM on February 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


How many less is that than Independence Day?
posted by PHINC at 5:15 PM on February 16, 2014


I think these films were the final expression of suburban paranoia. In the 70s and 80s, the cities were populated with gangs and consisted of nothing but street crime, usually committed by people of color against white people, often older white people who had been left behind by white flight. And this was only a slightly heightened version of what you got on the news every night, which unethically played into that fantasy by highlighting these sorts of stories when they happened in the real world, and celebrating vigilantes, such as the Guardian Angels and Bernie Goetz.

And the really extraordinary things that were happening in the cities were bundled into this fantasy. It's why punks were so often subbed in as criminal gangmembers, and why the soundtrack for the gangs was so often hip hop.

And there was some truth to this. Harlem was decimated in then 70s, with entire blocks ravaged by fire. The cities tended to house the poorer population, and so there was a greater risk of a certain sort of street crime. There were a lot of cheap drugs that flooded the streets in the 70s and the 80s, and there were gangs that took advantage of this.

But there was a context to this, and one of the largest contexts was white flight. Whites fled to the suburbs and it was financially devastating to the cities, which still had to provide a variety of services to the suburbs but lost a lot of tax money to them. And while there were still people in the cities who cares very much for their neighborhoods, the population tended to be impoverished and minority, and the wealthier majority couldn't give a shit about them. And so we get these awful revenge fantasies of white men shooting urban criminals, without any sense at all that these criminals didn't just happen, but were very much a result of a economics and racism. There are, at their core, a racist fantasy in which inner-city minorities aren't the victims of policies created by white men, but instead the ones who make white men victims, and must be punished with death.

But we've talked about how we can recognize that there are problems with art and enjoy it anyway, and I am glad, because I fucking love these movies.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:19 PM on February 16, 2014 [27 favorites]


Between this post and my own, Metafilter has covered the extreme points in quality of Charles Bronson's career today. Huzzah!
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:19 PM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


My mon Bronson don't shiv.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:20 PM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, it was going to be called Death Wish? Aye, Aye-Aye!, about a piratical nocturnal primate with vengeance in its astonishingly large eyes.

Which was, of course, rated Arrgh.
posted by lharmon at 5:21 PM on February 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


That style of action soundtrack did not age well. It's kind of jarring when musical cues that might as well be in this clip turn up in a movie like "Gorky Park"
posted by thelonius at 5:24 PM on February 16, 2014


Needs more Mandom.
posted by jquinby at 5:30 PM on February 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hey, as you get older you want your efforts to carry you further.
posted by planetesimal at 5:47 PM on February 16, 2014


How many less is that than Independence Day?

I don't know, but in Dr. Strangelove the answer is "all of them."
posted by TedW at 5:49 PM on February 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


"According to the book 'Bronson's Loose' by Paul Talbot, the original working title "Death Wish III" was changed to "Death Wish 3" because the Cannon Group conducted a survey and found that nearly half of the U.S. population could not read Roman numerals."

Laugh all you like, but...
posted by mhoye at 5:54 PM on February 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


That was pretty deathwishy, but without Jeff Goldblum is a Jughead hat, yt I'm not comfortable calling it deathwishalicious.

But come on, he was fighting a crazed Chuck Cunningham here (I have inexplicably gone six years on the blue without previously mentioning Chuck Cunningham and have now done so twice in three days).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:02 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think these films were the final expression of suburban paranoia. In the 70s and 80s, the cities were populated with gangs and consisted of nothing but street crime, usually committed by people of color against white people, often older white people who had been left behind by white flight.

If you watch the 11 o'clock news in most cities or read the comments in the local paper, you'd still think that cities were still like that. I have friends and ex-coworkers who think that I'm crazy for living in the city and get all weirded out when I say that my wife takes the bus to her office.

I live in a historic neighborhood that does a house tour every Christmas as a fund raiser and invariably some suburbanite on the tour will ask me, "is it safe to live here?" and I always resist the temptation to tell them that I always wear kevlar and have only been shot twice. I also resist the temptation to tell them that they were in ten times more fucking danger driving on the interstate to get to the city than they are walking around in the city.
posted by octothorpe at 6:09 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Death Wish, Aye Aye Aye is the Mexican screwball comedy version.
posted by idiopath at 6:23 PM on February 16, 2014


That was, like, the perfect way to watch that crazy movie... glad I didn't have to sit through the whole thing.
posted by ph00dz at 6:32 PM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am disappointed. I don't think all those count as deaths, some of them were just maimed. And I am sure some of them were counted twice.

"Death Wish III" was changed to "Death Wish 3" because the Cannon Group conducted a survey and found that nearly half of the U.S. population could not read Roman numerals.

They should have thought of that before Death Wish II.

I dearly love old Death Wish II. The film is set in LA. It was filmed in my neighborhood in downtown, right before I moved there. There is a lurid scene where Bronson's daughter is being brutalized and she jumps out a window (you can see that in the movie trailer I linked) and is impaled on an iron security fence (definitely NOT in the trailer). That was the fence of the parking lot where I parked. That scene is so graphic, it is usually cut from the film on the rare occasions it is aired. Oh there are tons of scenes like that, within a couple of blocks of my loft on Traction Avenue. There was one spot in particular that I used to walk past on the way to Yaohan's for groceries in the evenings. It was a big stone entrance to an abandoned building, deeply set back from the street, so it was impenetrably dark. I could just imagine that little squirt Bronson emerging from there, gun extended, just like the movie. I used to walk across the street to avoid it. Anyone could be lurking in there.

Anyway, I will take this opportunity to plug one of my favorite Bronson movies: From Noon Till Three. Oh you have got to see this. Even if you hate westerns, or romantic comedies, or Charles Bronson, go see it. It is a merciless satire of all three of those things.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:41 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is it me or is there an awful lot of penetration in these deaths? Lots of stabbing, impaling, gun brandishing, etc. I feel like there's a Gender Studies cross listed with Urban Theory dissertation in there somewhere.
posted by Sara C. at 6:47 PM on February 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


And so we get these awful revenge fantasies of white men shooting urban criminals, without any sense at all that these criminals didn't just happen,

Part way through Death Wish 3, I thought it was going to turn into a thing where he starts to recruit more and more old people with guns to maintain the peace in the neighbourhood. Then there get to be too many of them that they don't know always know everyone, so the vigilantes decide they should wear certain colours and use hand signals to recognize each other. Then some of them start taking stuff like free groceries from the local store because obviously they're owed something for putting their lives on the line. One of them gets in a drunken fight in a bar and gets his ass handed to him, so some of his fellows track down the perpetrator and teach him a lesson about messing with their crew. Etc. etc. etc.
posted by RobotHero at 7:01 PM on February 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


Man, I miss the 80s, where gang members were easily recognized by their comically over-sized switchblades and convenient face makeup.
posted by madajb at 7:06 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Rambo III beats DW3 with over 108 onscreen kills, making it into the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records under the category 'Most Violent Film Ever Made'. This feat was surpassed by 2008's far superior Rambo (aka Rambo 4 aka John Rambo), which clocked in with an impressive 236 onscreen deaths, or nearly 2.6 killings per minute of runtime (including opening & closing credit sequences). If you're ever in the mood for a violent throwback to 1980s action films and - like me - can't stomach the wink-wink-nod-nod going down in shit like the Expendables franchise, do yourself a favor and watch the 2008 Rambo. Questionable (and not totally defined) politics, CGI disembowelments, Stallone grunting and mumbling his way through the film in a gut-hiding oversized t-shirt. I've probably watched this film 8 times; it's so fucking entertaining. I know Sly's working on a sequel that takes place in the States. I'd love nothing more for it to be a straight drama, with John Rambo moving back in with his parents and getting a job at a grocery store or gas station or something and making weekly visits to the VA to undergo experimental ketamine therapy to help him deal with his off-the-charts level of PTSD. Maybe John falls in love with a local single mother, maybe he falls in love with a male PTSD researcher, maybe he doesn't fall in love with anyone and lives out his remaining years lonely, watching television, drinking cheap beer, and attending civilian military equipment trade shows. Or maybe he becomes obsessed with Bronson's Paul Kersey from the Death Wish films and slowly transforms himself into the character over a period of five or six years. He becomes known as a local eccentric, harmless save for the collection of knives and bayonets he keeps in his cellar (I don't know for sure, but based on the events that transpired in the original First Blood film, I'd assume that John is a felon and as such isn't allowed to own firearms.) Whatever the case, the film is presented as a moody character study with very little dialogue (and of the dialogue that is in the film, very little comes out of Rambo's mouth). The ending could be ambiguous, with John continuing to go about his sad, lonely existence (but maybe he's recent learned he's dying of an Agent Orange-related illness), or the film could end with John revisiting the forest in Washington State where he stood his ground in the
first film. The entire area has been developed with McMansions and stripmalls, and as John is sitting in a Starbucks drinking a latte, Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Teasle enters, recognizes John, and asks if he may join him. John says nothing and the sheriff takes a seat across from Rambo. After a few awkward moments of silence, the two slowly begin catching up, finding that all old wounds have healed and they actually have quite a lot in common. Flash forward 18 months and John Rambo and Sheriff Teasle have opened a bed and breakfast a few miles down the road. They live out their remaining years with occasional light bickering but both are quite proud of both the way they've managed to put their differences aside and of the successful entrepreneurial operation they've managed to put together so late in life.

Oh, and Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock should play one of their daughters because this shit needs to be at least nominated for a Academy Award.
posted by item at 7:33 PM on February 16, 2014 [24 favorites]


Possible working title: Rambo: Whatcom County.
posted by item at 7:39 PM on February 16, 2014


If you haven't seen Death Wish 3, you're missing out. Seriously. It is hands down one of the most unintentionally hilarious movies I've ever seen. I've turned a few friends on to it and all of them were a) understandably skeptical at first and then b) convinced it was one of the funniest things they've ever seen. Honestly, sit down and check it out. It's brilliant.
posted by antihostile at 8:18 PM on February 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


So - what the hell was up with him holding the machine gun on the barrel? I mean, I don't know a lot about guns, fired a few in my youth, watch some videos a couple times a year about them but... Am I wrong or does the barrel get hot like that? Is that just one more silly dumb thing that makes the movie hilarious? Or is that actually something one might conceivable do?

"In a world without pistol grips, one man, holds onto the barrel itself..."
posted by symbioid at 10:24 PM on February 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bronson certainly has a long p… istol.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 PM on February 16, 2014


Laugh all you want but Rider on the Rain is a brilliant movie.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:33 PM on February 16, 2014


what the hell was up with him holding the machine gun on the barrel?
It's an M1919 and some folks apparently CAN fire it hand held, but not by holding the barrel shroud -- it's a shroud so it shouldn't be too hot as it's there to keep the barrel from burning the operator -- so maybe with short controlled bursts?
posted by linux at 10:36 PM on February 16, 2014


There are some who suggest that the machine gun's cardboard box attachment is a design flaw but they overlook the employment benefits in a difficult economy.
posted by biffa at 12:57 AM on February 17, 2014


Did...he shoot a guy in the back for pushing him?
posted by middleclasstool at 6:13 AM on February 17, 2014


I love how they throw in some white skinhead bad guys to make it totally not racist.

I somehow suspect that the mixed race nature of the "gang" was a sign of further degeneracy....

I have some trouble with the logical formulation that the solution to urban violence in the 80s was a lot more violence. As I remember, that was pretty much political policy, but still....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:43 AM on February 17, 2014


83.


Does Metafilter need an account like this? --> https://twitter.com/HuffPoSpoilers
posted by surplus at 6:45 AM on February 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did...he shoot a guy in the back for pushing him?

Purse snatcher, I think.
posted by stebulus at 9:00 AM on February 17, 2014


The only one worth watching is the original where Bronson's character is clearly showing not just the strain of losing his family but the added stress of being both judge, jury, and executioner. The film even hints that he is heading towards a complete mental breakdown. The entire series is on a completely different wavelength than the first.
posted by Beholder at 10:53 AM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Purse snatcher, I think.

In fairness, the guy also pushed him. And any guy who pushes Charles Bronson must have a

[sunglasses]death wish[/sunglasses]

Aaaeeeeehhh.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:55 AM on February 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The entire series is on a completely different wavelength than the first.
Isn't that how most action movie series end up turning out, especially if the first was from the 70s? How First Blood and the Rambos are the same character often boggles my mind.
posted by linux at 11:12 AM on February 17, 2014


The Simpsons where Homer joins a vigilante group is the best distillation of the ethos of the Death Wish series.
posted by Renoroc at 11:35 AM on February 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know, but in Dr. Strangelove the answer is "all of them."

Either Knowing or Star Wars has to win the all-time Largest Implied Body Count award, depending on how many people lived on Alderaan and Dantooine.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:37 AM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


linux: "The entire series is on a completely different wavelength than the first.
Isn't that how most action movie series end up turning out, especially if the first was from the 70s? How First Blood and the Rambos are the same character often boggles my mind.
"

Die Hard too. John McClane has turned from a human who's vulnerable to broken glass on the floor to a cartoon character who can fall four stories through multiple skylights without injury.
posted by octothorpe at 11:38 AM on February 17, 2014


Needed more Baseball Furies.
posted by ckape at 12:11 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


In fairness, the guy also pushed him. And any guy who pushes Charles Bronson...

I was a religious studies minor years ago and took a course in the gospels, in which we read a bunch of the non-canonical gospel texts. My favorite was the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which answered the question of how Jesus spent his childhood (answer: getting irritated with his teachers and cursing them with blindness or whatnot).

Really funny read. My favorite scene had a primary-school-aged Jesus walking down a road when a kid ran by him and accidentally bumped him on the shoulder. Jesus, like an eight-year-old boy at this point, looks at the kid and says something like "your journey will go no further" and the kid falls down dead in the street.

I have no point other than that even Charles Bronson has nothing on a pre-pubescent Christ when it comes to guff-takin'.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:19 PM on February 17, 2014


TedW: "I don't know, but in Dr. Strangelove the answer is "all of them.""

Oh, come on. I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:37 PM on February 17, 2014


overhauser: "After watching this condensed version I have formed a hypothesis: people who went to and liked Death Wish 3 in 1985 form the core of the modern tea party"

That's a fair assessment. I'd like to add that the elderly Jewish couple who are very enthusiastic about murder pretty much directly represent the principals of The Cannon Group, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. I always imagine them as a bickering elderly couple who are united by their common love of murder.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:18 PM on February 17, 2014


Cabin in the Woods though, easily billions die shortly after credits roll.
posted by idiopath at 3:45 PM on February 17, 2014


I have no point other than that even Charles Bronson has nothing on a pre-pubescent Christ when it comes to guff-takin'.

I dunno. You can do better in the standard Old Testament. In Kings 2:24, some kids are mocking Elisha's bald head, so he calls up a couple of she-bears who do in some 42 of the tykes. That's a death wish!
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:52 PM on February 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Simpsons where Homer joins a vigilante group is the best distillation of the ethos of the Death Wish series.

Mr. Simpson, how do you respond to the charges that petty vandalism such as graffiti is down eighty percent, while heavy sack beatings are up a shocking nine hundred percent?
posted by enkd at 10:51 AM on February 18, 2014


Aw, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:54 AM on February 18, 2014


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